SiteofWeek061610 To help local education leaders with their own school-reform efforts, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has produced a new series of online videos highlighting successful school improvements from districts across the nation. The videos illustrate how several school districts have successfully turned around their low-performing schools using the four models endorsed by ED’s $3.5 billion Title I School Improvement Grant program. This program makes funds available to states by formula, to help them target the bottom 5 percent of U.S. schools–or approximately 5,000 chronic underperforming schools nationwide. Local school districts compete for the funds after identifying the schools they want to overhaul and then determining which of four models is most appropriate: transformation, turnaround, restart, or school closure. Through interviews with school administrators, teachers, parents, and students, the videos aim to show how sometimes difficult changes in school leadership, personnel, curriculum, and culture can lead to dramatic improvements in student achievement, ED says. http://www.ed.gov/blog/2010/03/whats-possible-turning-around-americas-lowest-achieving-schools/

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Jeff Festa